Proud to be thriving

There is no doubt this is a time of great uncertainty and for many, concern. However, it’s not all bad news. In a recent blog post, James Lay of Larking Gowen suggests that, whilst around one third of businesses are struggling, a second third are hurting but not in danger, and the final third are actively outperforming their pre-pandemic levels.

It’s not surprising when you think about it.

Business advisors providing help with cashflow management or access to funding are in demand. Supermarkets, online retailers and their distribution channels are almost overwhelmed and, for anyone supplying goods and services to the health and social care sectors, it’s an absolute boom time.

So why aren’t the thriving companies telling us about it?

For a start they are too busy and secondly, they don’t need to publicise it, they’ve got orders coming out of their ears. But more deeply, I think many of them feel embarrassed about it. When one in three businesses is worrying about surviving, the last thing they want to hear is how well someone else is doing. And, understandably, the immediate reaction of most of us is to be resentful or downright hostile towards businesses we feel are profiting from our misery.

But I’m not sure we should. These businesses are not being opportunistic. These businesses are not (for the most part) profiteering. They are simply doing what they have always done. They are just lucky enough to have products and services we really need right now. I’ve seen only one report of a business suddenly hiking their prices, everyone else is playing by the rules.

And these companies haven’t furloughed anyone; quite the opposite, they’re recruiting thousands of extra staff – all on full pay.

The thriving companies will, in the short-term, be our saviours; these are the companies with money to spend when we turn the corner. Their employees have full wallets – they will be first in the queue to buy from the rest of us once restrictions are eased.

So, if you have a success story, tell it; and if you hear one, relish it. It’s where our inevitable return to prosperity begins.

Stay safe.